10 years ago — 1998
• In the 13 years Wayne Robertson has run the Lakewood schools, the district has undergone tremendous growth. Now it’s his turn. The Lakewood superintendent announced this week that he will be the newest assistant superintendent in the Edmonds School District. “This will take me in a different direction and offer me some experience with a large organization,” Robertson said, understating the change. He goes from a district with 2,300 students to one with more than 21,000. As assistant superintendent, Robertson will run a part of the Edmonds School District that is nearly three times the size of Lakewood. Robertson feels a more important distinction in his new job is a chance to work with educators who are recognized around the state and even the country for their innovation in education. “They are recognized leaders in educational reform,” he said. Edmonds schools have used performance-based education standards for 10 years. Robertson said it’s a direction many area school districts are taking now. Lakewood is one of those. And Robertson is himself a leader in school reform. He brought a new style of decision-making to the district. “He is known for his work in site-based decision making,” noted Lakewood High School Principal Kris McDuffy. His resignation comes on the heels of a successful, if drawn out, campaign to pass a maintenance and operations levy. The levy request was endorsed by 66 percent of Lakewood voters after failing with only 50 percent in February. More importantly, he leaves behind schools now known for their focus on learning. “We have basically enhanced programs that were lost by the early levy failures or that never existed,” he said. “I never really expected the real depth, caring and commitment that I found in Lakewood,” said McDuffy, who was hired by Robertson nine years ago.
25 years ago — 1983
• With the exception of about a dozen nearby residents, the Pilchuck Tree Farm’s proposal to spray treated sewage sludge on about 70 acres of their property northeast of Lake Armstrong drew an almost neutral response from the 50 people attending Thursday’s public meeting on the project. A second, more formal public hearing on the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposal will be held May 19. The tree farm’s purpose in seeking community approval to apply the sludge is to fertilize young trees. Representatives from the Seattle/King County Waste Treatment Authority (Metro) showed examples of significantly increased tree growth from a sludge application experimental project at the University of Washington’s Pack Forest near Eatonville. The Armstrong project is a cooperative venture between Metro and the tree farm — with Metro seeking ways to dispose of sludge and the tree farm seeking to improve the growth rate and quality of their trees.
50 years ago — 1958
• A few weeks ago Pvt. Don Tillman, whose home is in the Arlington Heights District, wrote a letter to Mrs. Roy Richardson, a Heights neighbor, and correspondent for The Times, asking if it would be possible to gather up some children’s clothing that could be sent to him to be given to the Myung Jin orphanage for the Korean children there. Mr.s Richardson issued a call for and received a considerable amount of such clothing and sent it on to Pvt. Tillman. Here is Don’s letter dated April 12, 1958 acknowledging receipt of the clothing. “On behalf of the Myung Jin orphanage and the men of the First Med. Bn., I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for what you folks of Arlington and vicinity have done in helping us secure clothing for the orphans. I assure you that the clothing was properly distributed to the children and that it has been put to good use.”